As Starlight Xpress believes, cameras should be as user friendly as possible. This is the philosophy behind the design of the SXVR-H9 and results in a camera which needs virtually no maintenance and the minimum of effort to take top-notch astro photos. One key feature of the design is the ultra-low dark current, which means that dark frames are now totally redundant. It also means that the camera has no need of heavy cooling fins, or water cooling pipes and mess.
As an example of this extremely low noise, here is a comparison of dark frames from an SXVR-H9 and another popular camera which uses the Kodak KAI 2000 chip. Please note that the KAI 2000 was 15 degrees cooler than the SXV CCD! Main Features
The autoguider and auxiliary functions
- Large, high resolution 'Exview' CCD chip, with 1,447,680 x 6.45uM pixels in a 9 x 6.7mm array
- Exceptionally high QE over an extremely wide spectral range from near UV to deep IR
- Exceptionally low dark signal - No dark frames necessary for most deep sky objects
- Exceptionally effective anti-blooming with minimal effect on linearity and no lost active area
- Built-in very high speed USB 2.0 interface for sub-1 second downloads
- Built-in autoguider interface and output - compatible with the optional dedicated external guide camera
- Built-in dual serial ports for accessory control - directly drive filter wheels, GOTO 'scopes etc.
- Single USB cable control for all features - get rid of that dangerous cable tangle!
- Only ONE computer needed to control all of the devices and functions
- Very low power consumption. Less than 1 amp at 12v DC
- Compact and lightweight - only 75mm in diameter x 70mm long - less than 300 grams load on the 'scope!
The rear panel of the SXVR-H9 provides multiple inputs and outputs, as shown. The autoguider output is opto-isolated and will drive any standard active-low guider input via an RJ11 'telephone' lead. The Parallel and serial socket is an 18 way latching high density connector, which provides both power and control signals for the external guide camera. It also carries two RS232 serial ports for external device control. If the serial ports are not required, the guide camera may be connected directly to this socket, otherwise a small 'port divider' box can be connected in-line and presents the two serial outputs on standard 9 pin 'D' plugs. The guide camera and port divider box, with a 1.25" eyepiece for comparison
The guide camera uses a 4.9 x 3.7mm CCD (1/3" format) and will slide into a 1.25" focusing assembly. It may also be used with a 'CS' mount camera lens. The weight is less than 100 grams. Specifications
- CCD type: Sony ICX285AL Exview HAD CCD with ultra low dark current, extended IR response and vertical anti-blooming.
- CCD quality: Grade 1 or better - No bad columns, no dead pixels, no more than 6 'hot' pixels (saturated in <10 seconds).
- CCD Full resolution Pixel data: Pixel size: 6.45uM x 6.45uM, Image format: 1392 x 1040 pixels
- CCD Image area: 8.98mm (Horizontal) x 6.7mm (Vertical)
- Spectral Response: QE max at 540nM (~65%), 50% roll-off at 400nM and 750nM
- Readout Noise: Less than 7 electrons RMS - typically ONLY 5 electrons!
- Full-well capacity: Greater than 23,000 e- (unbinned)
- Anti-blooming: Overload margin greater than 800x.
- Dark current: Dark frame saturation time greater than 100 hours. Less than 0.02 electrons/second @ + 10C ambient.
- Data format: 16 bits.
- System gain: 0.45 electrons per ADU
- Computer Interface: Built-in USB 2.0 compatible interface.
- Image download time: Typically 0.6 seconds full resolution using USB 2.0, approximately 2 seconds with USB 1.1.
- Power requirements: 115VAC / 240VAC @ 12VA, or 12VDC @ 750mA max.
- Cooling system: Regulated set-point cooling supply with single stage thermoelectric cooler to give a CCD temperature of up to -30C below ambient.
- Size: 75 x 70mm black anodised aluminium barrel with 42mm 'T2' thread at the CCD window end & input/output plugs at rear.
- Weight: approx. 300g.